What do you understand by artificial intelligence? How will it affect India? Discuss India’s preparedness in this field (250 W/15 M)

Mentor’s comment:

The question is straightforward. You should start your answer by explaining what is AI?. After this Evaluate its effect on India (Both positive and negative). In the next part mention the key observations of the recently released  Niti Ayog report on AI. It talks about the preparedness of India wrt to AI. In the conclusion part mention some Steps Which India should take  in-order to improve its preparedness wrt to AI.

Model Answer :

Artificial intelligence (AI) is a computational model capable of activities that we associate with humans such as learning, thinking, decision-making and problem-solving. While ordinary computer software is capable of decision making within pre-defined algorithm and flowcharts, an AI is unique because it can think, learn, evolve and augment its capabilities beyond the original code.

How it will affect India?

Positive effect

  1. According to a research by Accenture, AI can boost India’s annual growth rate by 1.3 percentage points by 2035.
  2. Also Increased access to quality health facilities, including addressing the locational access barriers, inclusive financial growth for large sections of population that have been excluded from formal financial products, providing real-time advisory to farmers and help address unforeseen factors towards increasing productivity, building smart and efficient cities and infrastructure to meet the demands of rapidly urbanizing population are some of areas which will be impacted by A.I.
  3. application of AI to healthcare could increase access and affordability of quality healthcare while it can enhance farmers income, increase productivity and reduce wastage when used in agriculture.

Negative effect

  1. One of the major concerns is the possibility of human beings losing out on employment opportunities due to machines’ ability to perform the same tasks more efficiently.
  2. Another major concern is about difficulties in regulation of machines in the human society.
  3. Along with the human sentiments, basic human values like morality and ethics would not exist in a machine dominated world.

India’s Preparedness in this field?

  1. Lack of enabling Data ecosystems: India has a sparse data in sectors like Agriculture, where historical data can be used as input, further relationship can established among data elements, which can make predictions about quality of grains fruits or vegetables and weather conditions such as cloud cover, monsoon etc.
  2. Low intensity of AI research: Only about 50 Indian scientists carry out “serious research” and they are concentrated in elite institutions such as the Indian Institutes of Technology and the Indian Institutes of Science, Meanwhile, only about 4% of AI professionals have worked in emerging technologies like deep learning.

Way Forward

  1. A two-tiered structure should be established to address India’s AI research aspirations with setting up of a Centre of Research Excellence (CORE) and an International Centres of Transformational AI (ICTAI).
  2. While the CORE will be focused on developing better understanding of existing core research and pushing technology frontiers through creation of new knowledge, the ICTAI will develop and deploy application-based research.
  3. A national programme on AI to guide research and development in new and emerging technologies should be launched.
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